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You Can’t Capture the State and You Can’t Win the Culture War

There is no such thing as a permanent political majority in the United States. All this talk about capturing the state before the left does and battling the culture war to victory just completely misses that point and I think it has a lot to do with being so on social media or in coastal progressive bastions where things look hopeless and you miss the rest of the country and the people not on social media.

I just think there are two rules you can never go wrong with. First, people are stupid. Second, people are fickle. Stupid people will change on a dime and they are not as easily led as we sometimes think because they are fickle. Yes, I have a low opinion of humanity and I am never disappointed as a result.

In this Twitter spat expanded beyond 240 character that Sohrab Ahmari lays out by completely misreading and misunderstanding David French, I want to offer some basic thoughts. I like Sohrab and David both tremendously and think Sohrab, for the sake of trying to capture some perceived righteous high ground, turned David into an undeserved “ism.” That said, it gives tremendous credit to David French for being a thought leader worth considering that he becomes the “ism” even if in using his name, the “ism” does not accurately reflect or represent David’s views.

Now, a few points.

The culture war will never be won by either side. The culture war exists because people are sinners and we are fighting a spiritual war, not a culture war. After all, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12) To the extent culture is won, it will be won by the left, not the right, because those unshackled from Christ will act and operate in ways those bound to Christ cannot operate. And the pagan world will, I think scripturally, appear to dominate the closer we get to the end. That being said, the victory will not be a real victory and ultimately the secular pagan world will lose because “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17).

In fighting the culture war while being mindful it is really a spiritual fight, Christians in politics must remember that “though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
(2 Cor. 10:4)

We must also take to heart Paul’s admonition to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 that servants of God should “have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, table to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:23-26).

I think the danger of Sohrab’s position is that conservatives wind up just like the left. A group of sinners who capture the state decide they know what is good and implement it. It’s very much like the Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones and that ended as badly for her as it would for us. Why? People are stupid and people are fickle.

We may like our view of the world better, but I think we are better off fighting for a position of being able to exist in the town square and compete in the marketplace of ideas rather than seeking to do as the left does and shutting out the other side.

In addition to thinking that is more appropriate in our constitutional system, I also think it is the right thing to do. It doesn’t mean we sit down and stay silent. It does mean we fight over ideas and seek to explain why our way and the liberal order are actually the best way. Even stupid, fickle people will understand that is the only way forward for them to continue being fickle.

Either side looking to win the culture war will be left disappointed. The fight will never end until the last day and on that day, I know the winning team. I don’t plan to be confused for the other side by trying to be like them now.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal 6:7-10)

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